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The pursuit started in 1998 at Jono Brown’s original Word of Mouth studio in West Hills, CA. In three sessions, basic tracks for 7 of the songs on the record were recorded live. We just set up like a band, amps and all, and ran the tunes. Most music at this time was recorded to a click and I wanted to do it the old fashioned way! The point was to make an album with no commercial considerations, no intended ‘radio-format’. Just a group of the best musicians I knew getting together to play some tunes.
Jonathan Dresel played Drums, Jeff Babko and Jay Minor a real Fender Rhodes, Yogi played guitar, and percussion duties were handled by Mike Faue and Ronnie Gutierrez. Lots of stuff was overdubbed by Anne King, David Crozier, Robert Kyle, and Dino Soldo and when my brother visited we recorded one of his tunes with just classical guitar, bongo and baby bass.
Unfortunately, those were not good times for independent artists and when I first started getting into computer based production around 1999, I didn’t have the skills necessary to do these awesome recordings justice. Since there was no budget for mixing/mastering/marketing the project got shelved
Fast forward to 2009: 10 years of experience producing, recording, mixing and mastering gave me the tools to finally get it done. I decided to record 2 more songs, to connect the project with the present. We got together at Mouse Johnson’s studio with Dave Karasony on drums, Randy Landas on upright bass and Ronnie Gutierrez on percussion and again layed down the tunes without a click. Inspired by this new shot of energy, I set off to release the album within a year.
Doing some more overdubs at my own place, and getting amazing stuff from Katisse Buckingham and Jeff Kashiwa recorded at their own studios, the whole record started to take shape. On a trip to Europe in February of 2010, all the pieces of the puzzle came together: 3 of the pictures for the artwork were taken on this trip, all with a cell phone! The front cover shows me actually sleeping in a train from Amsterdam to Groningen and the back shows my brother in San Sebastian, Spain, where the panorama inside was taken as well.
Returning to Los Angeles refreshed and energized, the album was mixed and mastered completely in the box, in Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 at my place. It’s amazing what can be done on the most modest equipment these days! I ended up playing bass, piano, synths, and guitar on the album and even designed the artwork for the CD.
I hope you enjoy the music as much as we all loved making it!